The Prehistory of Sex: Four Million Years of Human Sexual Culture

Timothy Taylor

The Prehistory of Sex surveys for the first time, the development of human sexual culture in its entirety, from our remote evolutionary origins through to recent times, on the basis of archaeological evidence.

From cave art to penis sheaths, from the personal tragedies of death in childbirth to the grand symbols of Stonehenge, TimTaylor has assembled and analysed an enormous range of artefacts and written records to produce a remarkable sexual history of mankind, at once rigorous and highly readable. Transvestite priests and Amazon warrier-women are as central to this history as what we have come to regard as sex; familial and societal power relations as important as genes or hormones. Examining the data of four million years, the author has found sexual diversity to be a constant and vital force in human development and argues that sexuality cannot be understood in purely biological terms: culture plays just as important a role. Only by accepting this can we understand how we increased our mental capacities beyond those of the other primates, lost our body hair, and expanded out of Africa to colonize every habitat on earth. A work of profound scholarship and dazzling interpretation, The Prehistory of Sex provides an exhilarating sense of the myriad possibilities sexuality has offered men and women down the millennia and could offer again.

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